If you get paid as an SEO consultant by the hour or by project, your earning potential will always be limited by the number of hours you work.
And once you stop working, the money stops flowing in, too.
Even if you can work more efficiently or raise your prices, there will always be a cap on your income. How do you get over this wall?
Roland Fraiser suggests that you start getting paid for the value you bring to your customers to get around this limitation and unlock higher profits.
“Don’t let your genius be someone else’s retirement.” Roland Fraser
On our final episode of SEJ, we had the privilege of hosting Roland, an award-winning podcast host, Stanford Chancellor, and Director of Six of Inc.’s Fastest Growing Companies.
Roland shared some great insights into alternative payment models and how advisors and agencies can jump-start the transition to wealth and income generation.
Why Equity Consulting is the smart way to get paid
Rowland stressed the importance of not relying solely on traditional compensation models such as flat fees, hourly payments or revenue shares.
These models are not sustainable from a quality of life perspective because they require continuous work to generate income.
Instead, Rowland suggests that consultants and agencies avoid the “dollars for hours” trap and find ways to turn their efforts and the value they provide into equity.
The concept is to leverage your knowledge, skills, and connections to negotiate compensation that reflects your long-term contributions and growth in business value.
If your contributions continue to benefit the company, you deserve to be rewarded with a share of the profits or equity.
How to find consulting for stock opportunities
Getting money from equity takes some effort. It takes time to negotiate these payment models, and if you’re not careful, it may not result in immediate income.
Roland learned this lesson firsthand:
“When I started in this field a long time ago, I made many mistakes and ended up with shares in twenty companies but no money. Most of the time, companies didn’t make a profit or reinvested for growth, leaving little to distribute… So, I would With a lot of work without any income. She taught me the importance of having income and wealth.”
To avoid this pitfall, Roland recommends the following steps:
- Focus on businesses with current cash flow and profitability rather than startups.
- Identify areas where you can significantly influence and add value to the company.
- Determine the value you can create, such as saving costs or generating revenue.
- Calculate the percentage of value you can contribute to the total value of the business.
- Approach the employer with a clear proposal, emphasizing the ongoing value you can provide.
- Negotiate terms, taking into account factors such as milestone-based compensation or a KPI if necessary.
- View your contribution as an ongoing investment that increases the overall value of the business.
- Select the specific assessment and agree on terms that reflect your added value.
One of Roland’s top tips is to maintain open communication with the client and make sure you keep your promises to build trust in the relationship.
Position yourself to consult on property rights
Unlike hourly or project revenue models, equity payments models require preparation, including branding, strategic positioning, and proof-of-value delivery of comprehensive services.
1. Move from SEO to Growth Strategist
To avoid being locked into a specific role or experience, it’s essential to establish a clear brand and position yourself.
You need to go beyond just being an SEO specialist.
Instead, aim to be seen as a strategic partner, offering a broader range of experiences for greater value and opportunity.
2. Building strategic alliances
Align yourself with professionals who offer complementary services to enhance your value proposition.
Collaborating with experts in different fields allows you to take a holistic approach to solving problems and demonstrate a broader range of capabilities to potential clients or employers.
3. Crafting a unique brand identity
During the episode, Roland emphasized the importance of branding in shaping a potential customer’s perception.
He says that identifying the differentiating factor that unites your different areas of expertise is crucial. Choose a specific area of focus or specialization within the broader growth landscape, such as AI for demand generation.
This specialist selection allows you to stand out in a crowded market by presenting yourself as a problem-solver with unique insights and approaches, bringing exceptional value to the table.
4. Content strategy for brand expansion
After establishing a focused brand identity, consultants can gradually expand their content strategy to cover broader topics within their expertise.
For example, Roland Fraiser has gone from being an “acquisitions guy” to exploring related areas such as exits and fundraising.
This gradual expansion demonstrates its continued growth and adaptability while retaining its initial brand positioning.
4. Communicate your value and goals
Consulting for Equity relies on your ability to communicate your value and long-term goals to clients.
From the start, share your intent to achieve exceptional results and create lasting partnerships.
Do not hesitate to express your interest in acquiring a stake in a company. Doing so, Rowland says, does four things:
- The customer understands that having you as a partner is an option.
- It shows clients that they believe in you.
- It shows that the client is willing to invest in himself.
- The customer understands your goals.
It also demonstrates your long-term commitment, brings the value you provide to their minds, and can be the foundation for a strong long-term relationship.
For the right SEO, marketing professional, or agency, alternative compensation models such as equity or partial c-suite positions may be the perfect way to take your career (and income) to the next level.
Looking for more tips and ideas from Roland on how to get started in stock advice? Be sure to check out episode 308 of the SEJ show.